Canada's missing & murdered indigenous women report released

By D'Angelo Martin

In Canada, there's been a mixed reaction to a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).  A final report was released recently, but still there is no accurate number of how many missing women there are. 

Gladys Radek travelled thousands of kilometres to attend a gathering in Ottawa where the report was released. Radek is an advocate for MMIWG and is happy with the report and its calls for justice. 

"It was because the family's voices were clearly heard. Canada's dirtiest little secret is out now," she says.

The recent ceremony had its share of colourful moments, but also ones of sombre reflection, remembering the ones who are no longer here.

Cheryl Maloney, who is a former Pres native women and an activist for MMIWG, says, "Letting Canadian governments know that this isn't acceptable the way our women are being treated." 

Radek wasn't bothered that Prime Minister Trudeau didn't use the word "genocide" in his speech.

"I'm more worried about what all the political parties say. And what political will is ongoing to come out of this. Whether they're in power or opposition or a backbencher. I'm looking at this as a challenge for Canadians, Canadian governments and Canadian representatives," she says. 

The report's 231 recommendations didn't phase Senator Murray Sinclair. 

"So, what that should tell people is that every major study that's ever been done on the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people in this country agrees upon the direction of the solution. And so now we should just get to it," he says. 

Radek hopes Trudeau will honour his words. "That's the one hope that I do have is that he honours the words. I'm looking forward to hearing about this national action plan that he claims that he's going to work on." 

Canada's Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) provided Māori Television with this story. The Government of Canada launched the independent National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in September 2016.